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CBP Safeguards Kentucky Derby Festival Events

Release Date: 
May 7, 2018

Louisville, KY—US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Port of Louisville, with support from the CBP Chicago Laboratories & Scientific Services Directorate, worked together to assist local authorities in safeguarding over 1 million attendees at several Kentucky Derby Festival events.

Customs and Border Protection Officer watches the entrance to Churchill Downs in Louisville, KY.
Customs and Border Protection
Officer watches the entrance to
Churchill Downs in Louisville, KY.

The Kentucky Derby Festival is comprised of numerous special events starting two weeks before the Kentucky Derby, to include three major events, Thunder over Louisville, Kentucky Oaks Horse Race, and the internationally known ‘Run for the Roses’ Kentucky Derby Horse Race.

The Thunder over Louisville is the largest airshow, and fireworks display in all of North America, with the crowd of over 800,000 this year lining the banks of the Ohio River in both Kentucky and Indiana to watch it this year. The Kentucky Oaks Horse Race takes place at iconic Churchill Downs in Louisville, KY, which drew over 113,000 attendees, and 144th ‘Run for the Roses’ Kentucky Derby Horse Race occurred, with another 157,000 VIPs and attendees to watch this world renowned horse race

CBP worked in close coordination with various Federal, State, and Local partners to safeguard the public at these events. CBP provided Weapons of Mass Destruction detection systems, along with handheld sensors, which were integrated into the teams of CBP law enforcement officers and scientific staff. “It’s an honor for CBP to support our Law Enforcement Partners to ensure a safe venue during these challenging times,” Thomas Mahn, Port of Louisville Port Director, said.

Teams were deployed into the event’s crowded venues and surrounding areas, to screen for any potential terrorist threats, and to take immediate action if needed. These efforts ultimately helped to provide a safe experience to all that attended these exciting events, and again showed the unique capabilities, broad expertise, and dedication to duty of US Customs and Border Protection, and its staff.

Last modified: 
May 8, 2018